As the MLB season nears the “halfway point,” gifting bettors with another opportunity to wager on a meaningless event (the All-Star game), Aaron Judge and Shoehei Ohtani’s AL MVP odds have experienced a notable shift. Let’s dig into this market, including the perspective of MVP voters and a professional sports bettor.
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AL MVP Odds: Judge The Consensus Favorite
Over at BetMGM Sportsbook, Judge has accrued the highest percentage of tickets wagered (14.2%) and, in turn, represents the biggest liability AL MVP odds liability. But Ohtani is still generating the highest percentage of money wagered (24.6%), which corresponds with the overall handle in a given betting market.
Meanwhile, Guardians slugger Jose Ramirez, who’s accrued 6.2% of the tickets wagered and 5.5% of the handle at BetMGM, has remained in the conversation throughout. Below are their latest AL MVP odds across legal sportsbooks.
For greater context, Ohtani opened the season as the favorite (+300) across all sportsbooks.
Where Do Voters Stand On MVP Odds?
I asked four MLB writers, who all submit their own say at season’s end. A pair of them noted they’d currently vote for Judge (between he and Ramirez despite Ohtani’s recent surge) while the other two argued for Ohtani and fellow Angels outfielder Mike Trout (), respectively.
“I’d probably lean Ohtani given that the way he gets there is still unique and without precedent — except for what he did last year,” one anonymous MVP voter said.
Whether or not pro sports bettors agree on the notion to highlight wins above replacement (WAR) as the No. 1 factor in the award race, voters still heavily consider it. Among the previously noted players, Trout owns the highest ranking in that department (4.2), followed by Ohtani (3.9), Judge (3.8) and Ramirez (3.4).
Many of them see it as a wide-open hunt as a result, yet pro bettor Jason Weingarten views it a bit differently, citing Ohtani’s two-way dominance. The 2021 AL MVP also finds himself in the thick of the AL Cy Young conversation () with Rays ace Shea McClanahan () leading the way in that individual betting market.
“Ohtani gets compared to Nolan Ryan and Babe Ruth — except he’s better,” Weingarten said. “MVP doesn’t mean (a player) of the winningest team. … The guy with a 143 OPS+ and 136 ERA+ is the runaway MVP again this year and every year. I’m fine if I’m wrong, and he doesn’t win. But anyone who thinks Judge is the odds on (favorite) right now is smoking crack.”
Do AL MVP Odds Correlate With Playoff Berth?
To Weingarten’s point, some bettors point to team win percentage as a measure of whether Judge is more deserving of the award than Ohtani.
Sure enough, Judge’s Yankees boast MLB’s premier record while Ohtani’s Angels sit five games back in the AL wild-card race. The aforementioned Ramirez slots into that conversation too, as Cleveland finds itself just a half-game back in the wild-card hunt and one game behind the AL Central-leading Twins. Nevertheless, over the last five years, seven players have collected one of the major awards without sniffing the postseason.
Below is the list of those names. Keep in mind, Ohtani accounts for more than 20 percent of Los Angeles’ wins as a starting pitcher alone while Judge isn’t even on pace to match Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s runner-up 2021 campaign.
|2021||Shohei Ohtani||Los Angeles Angels||AL MVP|
|2021||Robbie Ray||Toronto Blue Jays||AL Cy Young|
|2019||Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels||AL MVP|
|2019||Jacob deGrom||New York Mets||NL Cy Young|
|2018||Blake Snell||Tampa Bay Rays||AL Cy Young|
|2018||Jacob deGrom||New York Mets||NL Cy Young|
|2017||Giancarlo Stanton||Miami Marlins||NL MVP|
Stay Tuned For AL MVP Odds Movement
As the MLB MVP odds continue to adjust, follow along with our comparison tool — available for every major betting market as well.